CFMichaels

Hong Kong & Ginger Jars

Tue July 01, 2014

Crossing paths with colorful characters is one of the true highlights of traveling.  I love those occasions when you meet people who are so clearly passionate about what they do or the wares they sell that it spills over in their speech, and their expressions, and even in the way they move.  David, at the Friendship Trading Company, is the guardian of ginger jar heaven on Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road.  He is utterly delightful and gracious and grinning ear to ear as he describes the detailed craftsmanship and years of effort involved in producing just one of the extraordinary group of porcelain pieces on display in his shop.

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

The Friendship Trading Company has been around for 35 years.  David’s father spent decades amassing this expansive inventory of antique and vintage porcelains – a concentrated collection the likes of which I’ve never seen.   But what’s more impressive than the sheer number of pieces is the labor-intensive process evident in these oversized standouts.  The sinuous carvings and the multiple layers of pattern are extraordinary, with every detail symbolizing a traditional nugget of wisdom or good wish and each scene intended to tell a story.   

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

This yellow vase would make a seriously stunning lamp… 

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

David thought this red-blossomed beauty would make a splendid punch bowl.

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

The handmade display cabinets with mother-of-pearl inlay frame the collections really beautifully.

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Apart from all the porcelains and other decorative arts, David pointed out a special glass box that was sitting on a back table.  Inside was a solid stone ox, lying in an upright position.  He noted all the interesting features on what seemed to me at first glance a very simple figure, and then with a big smile he asked me to guess its age.

“Three-hundred years,” I said. “Higher” he said, pointing his thumb upward.  ”Eight-hundred.”  ”Higher!”  ”One-thousand years!”  And he said,”Higher… 1600 year, before Tang Dynasty!”  It was his father’s.  Not for sale.  I didn’t want to ask to take a photo.  It was really more fun watching how much he enjoyed sharing that piece of history.  

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong

Chinese porcelain Hong Kong David is old school, no website – too much inventory he says – but he very proudly ships all over the world.   

Friendship Trading Company

Wholesale, Retail, Exporters - Antiques Art & Crafts

105-107 Hollywood Road, Hong Kong

email: friendco@netvigator.com

All images CFMichaels

 

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  1. Monika Frazelle says:

    I would not ever tell anyone that yellow is one of my favorite colors but that yellow ginger jar won me over! Stunning photos Carla!







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